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14 NWSL Rookies to Watch This Season

March 13, 2024, By Rachel Gonzalez | Courtesy of

The start of the NWSL season is right around the corner! We are all looking forward to seeing our favorite players get in the game, but there are more than a few NWSL rookies everyone should also be aware of.

Ally Sentnor

This list isn’t based solely on the draft, but it just makes sense to have the number one draft pick at the top. Sentnor is a bit of a comeback kid, recovering from an ACL tear to play one of her best seasons in college. The Royals made a real statement about their rookie year when they snatched her up first.

Savy King

Another double debut during that first weekend of play will be Savy King for Bay FC. King went second overall, right after her former NC teammate Sentnor. King shows an incredible amount of promise as a defender in the pros. She is smart and quick with a lot of energy.

Maya Doms

Along with King, Maya Doms will be suiting up for Bay FC this season. She is known to be a playmaker from the midline and has a real leadership presence on the pitch. This former Stanford Cardinal is a great player to have around, especially so early in a team’s career.

Hal Hershfelt

Hershfelt has been a midfielder to watch since early in her Clemson career. A solid assisting mid with endurance to spare Hershfelt will feel right at home with the Spirit front line.

Maycee Bell

Current champs Gotham FC have added Maycee Bell to their roster for their one and only pick this draft. Bell has had some trouble with injury in the past, but if there’s one thing she’s proven to be, it is resilient. Bell gets things done from the back line, and we’re sure she’ll see her share of action.

Croix Bethune

Bethune was always going to shine wherever she went, that’s just a fact, but we are excited to see her with Washington Spirit. Bethune is a player with style and skill. She is a threat to any defensive line she comes up against. Spirit has a lot to offer this young player, and we’re excited for their future.

Reilyn Turner

Already a Nike-sponsored athlete from her time with UCLA Racing, Louisville is already so excited to have Turner on the squad. Great on either side of the ball, Turner is a smart player who seizes opportunities. A really forceful forward is what Louisville has with Turner.

LeiLanni Nesbeth

LeiLanni Nesbeth is the newest Red Star and a rising star on her own. Chicago finished bottom of the table last season, but an offensive player like Nesbeth could be exactly what the team needs. A highly decorated collegiate player, Nesbeth knows how to score and assist effectively.

Sam Meza

Meza was Reign’s first pick, and they only picked three new players, so that’s really saying something. Her attacking power is a perfect fit for this squad looking to finish high in points. She’s creative and knows how to get into a defender’s head.

Avery Patterson

At this year’s draft, Houston Dash was looking for someone to give them a little extra edge, and Patterson might just be that missing ingredient. Fresh off the Tar Heels Patterson is good under pressure and fits right in anywhere between midfield and striker.

Zoe Burns

Another boon for the Royals, Burns is most often seen on the defense, but she’s not afraid of cheating forward when she needs to. Burns is an aggressive and strong player who knows how to move the ball. As a little added bonus, this rookie will be coached by fellow former USC Trojan Amy Rodriguez in her first pro coaching role.

Brecken Mozingo

Originally from Utah, we are thrilled that Mozingo gets to stay in her home state as a Utah Royals player. Mozingo is another building block in what is shaping up to be Utah’s young and super-strong front line. She knows how to outmaneuver and outsmart a defender, which makes her a real threat in one-on-one situations.

Ally Lemos

Lemos’s most notable asset is her maturity and dedication, which is exactly why Pride picked her up. Lemos has already proven herself to be a champion at midfield throughout her time with UCLA but Pride is hoping that their veteran core will help her along even more. Signing Lemos is a long-term investment for Pride because they see a leader in her.

Lauren Flynn

It might seem like we’re just really excited to see the Utah Royals play, but Lauren Flynn is a really special player. We see a lot of hybrid defense/midfield or midfield/offense players, but Flynn is a forward/defense player. She’s a utility that we don’t get to see terribly often. It would be awesome to see Royals use both of her skill sets.

There are, of course, many, many more rookies, sophomore players, and veterans we are excited to see this season, so be sure to catch as much NWSL as you can!

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